Trouble-Shooting Bubblers

Water spurting from the spout when the pushbutton is released is caused by air in the supply tubing to the spout. This is a common problem on project start-ups and there is no good or easy way to avoid it. When a new piping system is filled with water, pockets of air are trapped in the piping. Also, new water heating systems add more air molecules into the piping system as the water is heated. Consequently, the spurting problem is more pronounced on the warm water side of a dual
temperature valve. Often, the “Milky” color seen in water coming from the warm water side is due to saturation with tiny air bubbles. Thorough purging of the piping system at each tap will relieve some of these symptoms. With the passage of time, the water system will stabilize and less and less air will be found in the system. As this happens, the spurting problem decreases and eventually ceases. However, based on water conditions and usage of a given water system, the process can take several weeks to several months for conditions to stabilize.

Some suggestions to lessen this phenomenon are:

1. Systematically purge each tap starting with the most remotely located from the source of the flow.

2. Locate pneumatic valves as close as practical to the fixtures they serve. Never install a valve above a fixture with more than ten feet of tubing between the valve and the valve outlet as this produces a “Head” pressure and accentuates the spurting problem.

1. Check the flow control fitting to be sure the flow restrictor is in place. The flow restrictor is normally located inside the fitting where the outlet supply tubing is connected to the valve. Penal spouts are designed for a rate of 0.5 gpm flow rate provided by the flow restrictor. The flow rate can not be adjusted adequately using the inlet stops on the valve.

2. Check the hole in the spout or bubbler for debris or blockage. The outlet hole of the bubbler must be clear of any obstruction or partial obstruction to form the proper height of the arc. Clear any debris inside the bubbler head by disconnecting the supply tube from the fitting and blowing air back through the bubbler. Do not use tools or probes through the hole on the bubbler as they may damage the finish or distort the hole, causing an erratic stream. Re-assemble the valve and adjust the timing to the desired cycle length.

1 . Check the flow control fitting for blockage. Clear any debris with air pressure or flushing with clean water. Do not use probes to clear blockage as this may cause damage to the flow restrictor.

2. Check plastic supply tubing for possible kinks that would restrict water flow.

3. Make sure inlet stops are open.

4. Turn off inlet stops and inspect strainer screens for blockage or mineral build-up. Use clean water to rinse away debris. If the mineral build-up is severe on the screen, use a commercial mineral solvent, (like Calcisolve or Limerase) to clean it. Thoroughly rinse the screen before re-installing it.

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